The United Nations Special Session on HIV/AIDS
An NPR Special Report
As delegates assemble for the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS, NPR assesses the state of the AIDS epidemic and the crusade against it.
Friday, June 22
During the June 25-27 session – the first UN session ever to focus on a disease – delegates will debate a statement calling for greater action on AIDS treatment and prevention. The debate may well be stormy, touching as it does on sensitive issues of sex and culture.
Coming into the UN session, a bottom-line debate – which should get more resources, prevention or treatment? – has split the ranks of groups addressing AIDS. On All Things Considered, NPR’s Brenda Wilson reports on a meeting where funding organizations line up along this multi-billion-dollar divide.
Sunday, June 24
The day before the opening UN session, New York City hosts its Annual Gay & Lesbian Pride March, where AIDS activists will be out in force. What role have activists worldwide played in focusing UN attention on the disease? From the scene of the march, NPR’s Jon Hamilton reports for Weekend All Things Considered. Learn more about groups fighting AIDS.
Monday, June 25
Morning Edition sets the scene for the United Nations AIDS session – how it came into being, why it’s being held now, and what it’s likely to yield.
Then on All Things Considered, NPR’s Jon Hamilton focuses on the AIDS Trust Fund, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan’s $7 billion solution for getting AIDS drugs to the developing world.
Wednesday, June 27
And also on ATC, NPR’s Richard Knox reports on a Haiti clinic, run by a Harvard doctor, that is proving how costly, complicated drug treatments can work even in poor, primitive areas.
Learn more about treating AIDS in Haiti.
Tuesday, June 26
The UN session explores the unique issues and challenges associated with delivering AIDS drugs and prevention programs to women. NPR's Brenda Wilson reports on Morning Edition.
On All Things Considered, host Robert Siegel talks with Wilson about the day's debate - and compromises - on parts of the proposed declaration that referred specifically to groups at high risk for the AIDS virus, including homosexuals and injection-drug users.
In addition to the $200 million President Bush already has pledged to a worldwide campaign against AIDS, leaders of a U.S. House committee agreed June 26 to support contribution of another $1.3 billion. But Morning Edition commentator Jean Flatley McGuire says that's not all the United States can offer.
With an estimated 23 million people in the global workforce infected with AIDS, businesses say it's an issue they can no loner afford to ignore. For Morning Edition, NPR's Richard Harris reports on how business leaders used the UN special session to announce new voluntary action to confront the disease.
The UN deliberations in Manhattan may make little immediate difference to orphans in Port-au-Prince, most of whom lost their parents to AIDS and are themselves HIV-positive. NPR Correspondent Richard Knox visits an orphanage called Rainbow House, and reports on efforts to treat mothers who are HIV-positive so they won't die, leaving their children motherless.
Enter the photo gallery to learn more.
For more information on Rainbow House, visit the Haitian Ministries Web site.
The UN session concludes with the adoption of a declaration that outlines a global response to AIDS. The document sets out specific goals and timetables to address the epidemic, including prevention strategies to reduce the spread of the disease, particularly in developing countries. All Things Considered host Robert Siegel speaks with NPR's Brenda Wilson.
Thursday, June 28
In the aftermath of the session, NPR reports on the final statement, what it stresses and who signs off on it.
Listen to the audio of the UN sessions.